All Saints, Vange, Essex

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Feature Sets (2)


The former village of Vange has now been engulfed by the expansion of Basildon; its former High street (now the B1464) is marked by the Barge Inn at the east end and the church at the west, but there is little between them to indicate the presence of a village. All Saints church was declared redundant in 1996 and vested in the Churches Conservation Trust in 2003. It is a 2-cell church with a nave and a square chancel divided by a completely plain segmental chancel arch. The interior is generally whitewashed, but some brick repairs are visible and there are tiles set in the arch. At the SE angle of the nave is a rood stair. There is a wooden W gallery and under it stands a 12thc Purbeck font - the only Romanesque sculpture to be seen here. The nave is 12thc (see the chancel arch and a plain blocked lancet in the S wall. The chancel was extended in the 15thc, and its E wall rebuilt in the 18thc. The church was restored by Thomas Sneezum in 1836-37, and he added th W gallery. There was a reseating in 1896 by John Young, and the church was restored for the CCT by Alan Greening in 2002-05.


A manor in Vange was held in 1086 by Ralph FitzTurold from the Bishop of Bayeux. It had been held by 2 free men in 1066, and was assessed at 5½ hides. A second manor of 1 hide was held by Serlo from Ranulf Peverel in 1086. According to Wright (1831) the two manors were united at an early period and its ownership passed successively, with that of Hassingbroke in Stamford-Hope, to the families of Montchensy, Vere, de Valence, Rede and Wettenhale between 1280 and 1577.





In the centre of the nave at the W end, under the gallery, is a Purbeck marble font with a square tapered bowl, plain except for the E face, which has incised zigzags, and the spandrels of the upper surface, carved with trefoil leaves. There are the remains of staples at the NE and SW of the rim, and the round basin is lead lined. The bowl stands on 4 slender shafts at the angles and a central fatter shaft, all cylindrical. The shafts are modern but the monolithic base they share, with integral roll bases for each shaft, looks medieval. This stands on a stone block plinth with an inscription on inset brass strips reading IN MEMORIAM FILIE CHRISTI FRANCES EYRE-WRIGHT OBIT 1881.

Internal diameter of bowl 0.48m
Width at top (E-W) 0.65m
Width at top (N-S) 0.65m
Height of bowl 0.255m
Height of bowl with shafts and base 0.65m


RCHME (1923) describes the font as 12thc with modern shafts. Bettley (2007) has it 12thc-13thc.


  • J. Bettley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Essex, New Haven and London 2007, 123-24.

  • Historic England listed building 112367

  • RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 4, South east. (1923), 162-63.

  • T. Wright, The History and Topography of the County of Essex, II, 1831, 573.

Exterior from S
Blocked window in S nave wall
Interior to E
Chancel arch from SW


Site Location
National Grid Reference
TQ 715 867 
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Essex
now: Essex
now: Chelmsford
medieval: London
now: All Saints
medieval: All Saints (pre-Reformation)
Type of building/monument
Disused parish church  
Report authors
Ron Baxter 
Visit Date
19 July 2016